Since his prison release in 2018, Meek Mill has been outspoken about prison reform. Due to his experiences with the criminal justice system, it’s understandable that the Philadelphia rapper has become passionate about making sure that others don’t slip and fall through the cracks. Thanks to the progress he has made in his nonprofit organization REFORM Alliance, New York University’s (NYU) McSilver Institute awarded him its Social Justice Award. Tarana Burke, #MeToo founder, previously received the distinction.
“I’m honored by this recognition,” Mill said in a statement, per Okayplayer. “When I was released from prison last year, I knew I had a responsibility to use my voice to speak up for the voiceless and fight for criminal justice reform. Change will take time, but me and my team at the REFORM Alliance are committed to making a real difference and fixing a broken justice system.”
During the event, the “Oodles O’ Noodles” rapper reflected on his time behind bars, hostile interactions with police officers and the toll it took on his life. “I’ve been beat by the police, I’ve been locked in penitentiaries, I’ve been on probation for much of my life…”
“I’ve been beat by police, I’ve been locked in penitentiaries, I’ve been on probation much of my life… I’ve never seen much justice, & so I wanted to take giants in every field that I could think of and make justice in this country.” – 2019 #McSilverAwards Honoree @MeekMill. pic.twitter.com/AC6rLStuan
— McSilver Institute (@NYUMcSilver) June 10, 2019
With his organization that he co-founded with Jay-Z and others, the 32-year-old has been able to raise over $50 million, a mutual effort with co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers Michael Rubin and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.